Freddy Lim is the singer of black metal band, Chthonic and an elected member of the Taiwanese parliament.

Music has always been heralded as a harbinger of change, something that is reflective in the long history of protest music culture, both in India and abroad. However, it is almost never that we have seen a musician, a black metal artist to be precise, enter the realm of politicians.


Earlier this year, Taiwan saw a shift in its politics. The 2016 elections has been a milestone in the history of the country in more than one ways. It ended the seven decades of KMT dominance by handing control to the pro-independence Democratic Progress Party (DPP). Tsai Ing-wen, has become Taiwan’s first female president, which had further made China uneasy. The country also saw Freddy Lim, the front-man of Asia’s leading black metal band, Chthonic, win a seat in the Parliament, deferring Chinese Nationalist Part (KMT) candidate Lin Yu-fang, who had held the seat for over two years. To an outsider, a man clad in leather trousers, hair tied up in a ponytail, and his look completed with facial paint depicting the “eight generals of hell” in Taoist , might not seem like the the ideal image of a political leader. But, his entry into politics was not completely out of the blue. 

His band, often called the “Black Sabbath of Asia” is known for its songs with strong political content (which has resulted in a ban from performing in China). With the help of Taiwanese instrumentation, Chthonic hopes to raise awareness about the country’s tragic past.

He has been an advocate of Taiwan becoming a free country, which has been reflective in the lyrics he writes. His opponent, who attacked his outlandish appearance, called out to the older and conservative voters, and yet, with the support from the students and youth of the country, Mr. Lim won the seat by more than 6,000 seats.

Chthonic Image Source:

Mr Lim, who adopts the stage persona “Left Face of Maradou”, is not someone without any understanding or background in the world of politics. He is a longtime political activist who worked with Amnesty International. New Power Party (NPP) emerged from the Sunflower student movement, which Lim was a part of, in January 2015. All the members of the party are advocates for universal human rights, civil and political liberties and protecting Taiwan’s independence as a sovereign state. The party’s main policy is “Transitional Justice,” which, lyrically, has been covered in all of Chthonic’s studio albums.

He hopes for Taiwan to become a normal country with freedom and democracy for its people to enjoy; a fact that he has shared throughout his campaign and during several interviews. Instead of dedicating all his time and energy into legislation, he hopes to use his music to achieve his political aims. The band’s bassist, Doris Yeh, promised fans the same, “Freddy will not be replaced, and Chthonic will not be dissolved. The musical creation will continue, and move forward with Taiwan.”

Yesterday, Noisey (Vice) published an interview with the Taiwanese Heavy Metal Politician and spoke about everything from the Chinese ban on their band, his foray into politics and his plans for the future. You can read the interview here. In the meanwhile, we can only hope that this rock and roll artist sets the path right for the youth of Taiwan.